NO, I'm Not "Going Gluten-Free"

I mentioned in a recent post that switching to only fermented (aka sourdough) breads, the real thing, is supposed to help some people who struggle with IBS. So I'm trying it.

It's only been about two weeks now, so I can't say for sure that it is helping. I can say that I haven't had an episode in that time.

No commercially-prepared yeast breads for me. I have eaten some crackers, and I don't know yet if those break the rules.

But don't be confused. This does not, emphatically NOT mean that I am jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon. My darling son and I have argued on this point, but since we love each other more than we disagree, it didn't get ugly. Besides, we both had enjoyed a couple of glasses of liquid patience red wine, so we were chill.

It simply does not make sense to me so many human beings could suddenly become sickened by something we have been eating since prehistory. There has been archaeological evidence of wheat beer found in ice-age people's dwellings, and beer is most definitely not gluten free.

So if it isn't the gluten (which we evolved to eat) that is making us sick, what is it? Could it maybe be all the other crap we add back to bread after we take away all the good stuff with the milling and bleaching and so on and so on? Yeah, it could be that.

I'm a realist. I do not expect to be able to live my life eating only the foods my ancient ancestors might have eaten. Besides, I really like Fritos. Instead, I am looking to limit my intake of that kind of food, and just stick with the foods that I know agree with me. In my house, we call it my "happy tummy diet". What does that mean?

Lots of vegetables. Most of them are cooked because, like other people with digestive issues, I often spend way too much time in my bathroom after eating raw veggies. (Sorry for the TMI). There isn't much in my cabinet or fridge that would totally mystify my great-great-grandma. You'll find lots of potatoes, onions, Brussels Sprouts, artichokes, carrots, cabbage, etc. Of course you'll find game meat. Beer and wine. I'm making breads using a combination of whole grain flours, sprouted wheat flours and ordinary unbleached bread flour.

Grandma wouldn't recognize coconut oil at first glance, I'm sure. Of course, she didn't read English, so there's that. But it wouldn't take her very long to figure it out. What would she make of things you'll find in any supermarket today, like the kind of "cheese" that you spray from a can? Or processed cheese food? Yikes. Grandma was from Holland, you might recall, and I'm sure that these things she couldn't equate with CHEESE.

I doubt Grandma would have known what an artichoke was, either. But she would know it was a food, unfamiliar and prickly, but food. She certainly knew about kale. People have been growing and eating kale since medieval times. In Holland, you mix steamed kale in with your mashed potatoes, add cheese and onions and you have some total comfort food.

When we went to the market yesterday, I skipped the Fritos aisle. It wasn't easy, but I did it. And I didn't buy any foo-foo girly creamer for my coffee. Plain half-and-half works fine and I know what's in it.

I'm not going gluten-free. Or low-fat. Or paleo. Or any other kind of latest-greatest-fad style of eating. I'm mostly cooking and eating the same foods people were eating (somewhere in the world, at least) generations ago. This is pretty much the way we had always in eaten in my house, before I got "too busy". Well, guess what? I'm still too busy to spend hours each week feeling miserable. I'd rather spend that time making something good to eat.